Israel is a state on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the Near East (Western Asia). It shares borders with Egypt, to the southwest, Jordan to the east, Syria to the northeast, Lebanon to the north, and Palestine to the west (Gaza) and to the east (West Bank ). Immigration was very strong in the 1990s, particularly because of the deterioration of living conditions in the countries of the former USSR, especially Russia. People of Jewish faith emigrated en masse on this occasion, and this emigration continues. There are approximately 1.3 million immigrants of Russian origin.